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Wednesday, August 31, 2011

Amon Düül: Disaster


AMON DÜÜL: DISASTER (1972)

1) Drum Things (Erschlagzeugtes); 2) Asynchron (Verjault Und Zugeredet); 3) Yea Yea Yea (Zerbeatelt); 4) Broken (Ofensivitäten); 5) Somnium (Trauma); 6) Frequency (Entzwei); 7) Autonomes (Entdrei); 8) Chaoticolour (Entsext); 9) Expressionidiom (Kapuntterbunt); 10) Altitude (Quäär Feld Aus); 11) Impropulsion (Noch'n Lied).

If they intentionally gave this album that kind of name to avert disaster — for instance, to have all of us blush and say, «oh come on, don't be so hard on yourselves, it's not that bad, really!»... — well, it is that bad. No need to underplay the badness. After the cute, if ultimately unsuccessful, attempt at actual music-making on the previous album, Amon Düül are back to basics: once again scraping out the barrel of the big 1969 jam session. And now, God help us, they have scra­ped out enough to fill out a double album of material.

What separates the real Disaster from a forgivable curiosity like Psychedelic Underground is that these, really truly, are dregs. Most of the tracks are, as usual, centered around drums, except that this time, there is little of anything other than drums (about one or two chords worth in gui­tar strum and some occasional howling notwithstanding), and it all sounds like a bunch of sound­checks — warming up for the real thing. Everything is taken at the same tempo, most of the pat­terns are exactly the same, and the individuality of each of the tracks basically just depends on how many drummers there are and on which particular single string the guitar or the bass player would pluck or strum in the event of a common cosmic current picking him up and carrying him along with the drummer(s).

Essentially, this is Metal Machine Music, but without the pizzazz — Lou Reed, at least, produ­ced his «anti-masterpiece» as a well-targeted fuck-you-all, whereas Disaster doesn't even have the proper sonic punch to offend anybody exactly as the doctor prescribed. Psychedelic Under­ground was the sacrificial ritual; this is rehearsal material for the sacrificial ritual. You interested in listening to the witch doctor getting it on in­side his hut, half an hour before they drag the sacrificial victims in the center of the village square? If yes, Disaster awaits you, all the sixty seven minutes of thumping and pumping. Thumbs down.

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